SAINT PATRICK'S ATHLETIC
When the sides last met, the Students dumped the Saints out of the cup with Pat's suffering a 3-1 cup defeat in Richmond Park that precipitated the departure of manager Harry Kenny from Inchicore.
Friday’s league fixture, which has a 7.45pm kick off, will be the first game at home for the new boss Stephen O’Donnell. He began his managerial career with a come-from-behind 2-1 away win against Finn Harps last week thanks to goals from Darragh Markey and Rhys McCabe.
"It was a very good win as it is always a tough place to go and considering we were 1-0 down at half-time, the boys showed great character and desire to get back in the game," O'Donnell told stpatsfc.com.
"I was really happy with all the players last Friday, everyone involved and everyone who has been training to date too, as well as the players' workrate and desire so long may that continue."
With Derry City not in league action this weekend as they host the EA Sports Cup Final, it means the Athletic can move into fourth place in the table. Should they remain there by season’s end, it will likely be good enough for Europe as the sides sitting above the Saints make up three of the four FAI Cup semi-finalists.
"I'm really looking forward to my first game in Richmond on Friday. We have to give UCD total respect. It's only a few weeks ago that they knocked us out in the FAI Cup too so that won't be out of the players heads and they will know what they are capable of."
Rhys McCabe reflecting on that cup loss called it “one of the most disappointing results of the season, especially given the chance we had to try and make a statement in the cup.
"But it's all about the reaction now so I guess it is kind of in the back of our minds that we kind of owe them one now,” said McCabel. “But look it's important that we apply ourselves properly, train well in the build-up and make sure that we're ready on Friday to try and correct a wrong."
The Students are running out of games if they are to avoid relegation. They remain rooted to the bottom of the table six points behind Finn Harps.
While they will be buoyed by their cup win in the same venue last month, they come into the game having been eliminated from the cup themselves last Saturday with a heavy 4-0 defeat in Sligo.
In the league they have lost six in a row, shipping thirty goals in those games.
Their last win was their 1-0 on the pitch win over Bohs (which turned into a 3-0 win due to the Gyspies playing an ineligible player).
The resulting celebrations and fracas saw ‘keeper Conor Kearns pick up a length suspension but he is back in the team now.
Like the Saints, there is a new man in the dugout with Maciej Tarnogrodzki having taken over the reins from Collie O’Niell who was relieved of his duties following their 10-1 defeat to Bohs.
Having lost so many players in the transfer window, adding to their woes is recent signing from Sligo Liam Keaney who is suspended for the game in Dublin 8.
Referee: Damien MacGraith
April 15 was the last time UCD scored two goals or more in a league game.
They have scored just four goals away from home in league action.
In the games between the two sides this season in the SSE Airtricity League, the Saints have two wins (1-0 away and 2-0 at home) plus a 1-1 draw in the UCD Bowl back in early March.
St. Pat’s 1/7; Draw 11/2; UCD 13/1.
2-0 home win
St. Patrick’s Athletic
Injured: Evan Osam, Josh Collins, Sean McDonald.
Doubtful: Paul Doyle.
Suspended: Jack Keaney.
We are delighted to announce we will have full match commentary with @oisinlangan for @DroghedaUnited v @shelsfc tomorrow night. You can listen here - https://t.co/VZyY0Zn1Xq It's gonna be epic! #LeagueOfIreland pic.twitter.com/Cgdfpu6CN1— Extratime.ie (@ExtratimeNews) September 12, 2019